Scrolling through Facebook this morning, I found this little gem tucked in between all the condolences and thoughts about Robin Williams.
The article details 20 mistakes not to make in your 20’s. It’s a sort of guide to being successful in life. I made at least half of these ‘mistakes’ myself. Reading this I became a little saddened by the realization that somewhere out there someone is taking this as a true blue formula for success.
It paints a picture that your 20’s are the only time in your life to build your destiny and if you didn’t do the right things your life is basically over at 30. Think about those successful people you admire – did they all follow the same formula? Of course not.
I listened to a commencement recently by a CEO who fell in love in his 20’s – in fact he flew halfway around the world to be with her in his 20’s. He has children and if he has ‘dreaded weekends filled with minivan carpools’ they don’t seem to be a problem.
The real mistake we are making in our lives is to believe that there is an answer – a right way to attain the right success.
Here are 5 of the ‘mistakes’ I made in my 20’s, and thank God I did.
1.) Fell in love – I was 18 when I met my husband, 20 when we moved in together, 24 when we married and 25 when our first child was born. I cherish my weekends and spending the time with them. Would my life had looked different had I spent my early 20’s unattached? Sure. Would I have been more successful? Who knows.
2.) Work for money not to build my dreams – reality check; building dreams requires money … Enough said.
3.) Cared too much because I only live once – all this talk about the magic of your 20’s can paralyze you with fear and dread. Am I making the right choices in life? Is this what I am meant to do? Is this all there is? The beauty of life is that for most things you can course correct and change your mind.
4.). Taken down time/vacation – know yourself. If you need that long weekend or that adventure to restore your soul, take. Being burnt out leads to bad decision making – not success.
5.) Sticking with a job that teaches you nothing – if you are learning nothing you might be doing it wrong. Some if the things that have taught me the most were ruts I was stuck in. There is an art to identifying and fixing such a thing and frankly there is value in learning how to find meaning and value in something that seems pointless.
Success looks, feels, and sounds different to each of us. As my 20’s come closer to their end I am reminded that 30 is coming for me no matter what but I get to choose who 30 will find when it comes my way.
I guess it’s true that your 20’s is the foundation of your life to some extent. For me that means my foundation, my priority is my family. When I am coming to then end of my life I won’t be worried about ‘wasting time’ on those carpools, the fame and fortune I could have had if only I hadn’t wasted my 20’s and I sure won’t ask to be surrounded by my money as the time comes – I’ll be asking for my family.
If you’re still afraid of being a minivan carpool driving weekend dreading 40-something, the solution is simple … Don’t buy a minivan.